Hon David Bennett, National Party Transport Spokesperson
The past couple of years have been very challenging for the aviation sector. The aviation sector is one of those that has borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We thank you for your resilience and courage at this time. Your dedication to the sector and determination to keep New Zealand’s vital airways running is very much appreciated. We are especially mindful of the loss of staff and expertise in an industry that prides itself on service and customer relations.
As we see the world re-emerge from COVID-19 restrictions, our aviation sector will be integral to
New Zealand’s future. Countries are opening up quickly, and we are already months behind in our COVID-19 strategy. There is a real risk that we will get left behind.
The aviation sector needs to avoid parallels with the shipping sector, where the dominant East to West routes became the most profitable and resourced, leaving countries like New Zealand marginalised. It’s essential that Government recognises this possibility and supports the re- integration process. We need to make it easier, not harder, for travellers wishing to come to New Zealand.
Recently, the Civil Aviation Bill has been introduced into Parliament, which is a once in a generation opportunity to review the underlying legislation. We will be working with the NZALPA to ensure the Bill aligns with international best practice, especially in terms of having a streamlined aviation system, recognising the role of just culture, and considering all operators’ needs. NZALPA has been advocating strongly for your interests.
Once again, thank you for your patience and commitment over the last few years. Hopefully, you can spend some time with family as we get our world flying again!
Thank you, and have a Merry Christmas.
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